Can I assume that at some point in your life you have played, or at least seen, someone play the “Whack-a-Mole” arcade game? You get a big mallet, the moles pop up at random and you do your best to keep them down.

This is a great analogy for your journey as an artist in art licensing.  Sometimes when people start something new, their friends and family, with the intention of “protecting you”, will often play “Whack-a-Mole” with your dreams.

After more discussion, we decided that their intentions were probably not bad, people you are friends with, or related to, just worry when they see you trying something new.  They don’t want you to fail.  Get hurt. Lose money. Be embarrassed.  Things like that.  And their “constructive criticism” can sometimes be the most hurtful part of all.

As an artist you are putting yourself out there in a very personal way, and man can you feel like the poor little mole getting bopped on the head some days!

You show your work to a potential client, “No.  Won’t work for us.” BAP!

Your friend decides to tell you why your latest creation isn’t as good as something they saw recently.  WHACK!

You submit art, based on guidelines, only to be told later they changed the whole plan and now you are on the wrong track.  SMACK!

I think you get the picture.

So how do you persevere, keep a smile on your little mole face and become that elusive mole worth the most points that no one can seem to hit?

1.  Believe in yourself. Know that your art is your art and you are the best person to create it.

2.  Don’t take things personally. Even if you get quite a few “no’s” with licensees (and if you are serious about licensing you will, I guarantee it!)  remember that it doesn’t mean your art isn’t good, it just means that it isn’t right for the current project.

3.  Keep creating. If you believe in yourself and your art, you will be successful.  But you have to keep creating, learning and keeping a positive attitude.  Little actions every day create big results over time.

So chin up fellow artist moles!  While there will be days where you feel like the mallet just keeps hitting you on the head, if you believe in your art, your vision and yourself, you will be successful!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P. S.  If you want to play a little “Whack-a-Mole” online, here is a fun site I found.  It’s a great stress reliever on a bad day.   GO PLAY!